The Pure Gold Baby

The Pure Gold Baby

3.09 (1,208 ratings by Goodreads)

List price: US$26.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Jessica Speight, a young anthropology student in 1960s London, is at the beginning of a promising academic career when an affair with her married professor turns her into a single mother. Anna is a pure gold baby with a delightful sunny nature. But as it becomes clear that Anna will not be a normal child, the book circles questions of responsibility, potential, even age, with Margaret Drabble s characteristic intelligence, sympathy, and wit.
Drabble once wrote, Family life itself, that safest, most traditional, most approved of female choices, is not a sanctuary; it is, perpetually, a dangerous place. Told from the point of view of the group of mothers who surround Jess, "The Pure Gold Baby" is a brilliant, prismatic novel that takes us into that place with satiric verve, trenchant commentary, and a movingly intimate story of the unexpected transformations at the heart of motherhood."
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 453.59g
  • United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0544158903
  • 9780544158900
  • 146,815

Review quote

"This is an intimate look at a small family and its circle, told with wit, sensitivity, and deft knowledge of the household details of its setting. Drabble, the distinguished author of more than two dozen novels (e.g., "The Radiant Way"; "The Seven Sisters") and works of nonfiction ("The Oxford Companion to English Literature"), is a masterly storyteller and a preeminent chronicler of modern life...Readers who yearn for well-crafted fiction full of thoughtful ideas and observations should welcome this heartily."
- "Library Journal," Starred Review
"Drabble ("A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman," 2011, etc.) enfolds the moving personal story of a single mother's care for her mentally disabled daughter within a somber narrative of aging families and declining social optimism...The Victorian explorer David Livingstone, William Wordsworth's poetry, Auguste Rodin's sculpture and Marcel Proust's novels all play a part in Drabble's deeply intellectual, though never pretentious consideration of our intricate connections and obligations to others. Thoughtful and provocative, written with the author's customary intelligence and quiet passion."
- "Kirkus""
""Dame of the British Empire Drabble is in peak form in this marvelously dexterous, tartly funny, and commanding novel of moral failings and women's quandaries, brilliantly infusing penetrating social critique with stinging irony as she considers what life makes of us and what we make of life... Given Drabble's standing as one of the giants of world literature, elevated attention will be paid to her first novel since "The Sea Lady" (2007)."
-- "Booklist, " Starred Review
"Having announced in 2009 that she would stop writing fiction for fear of repeating herself, Drabble has, thankfully, had a change of heart. Here she offers a wrenching but clear-eyed look at the responsibilities of motherhood. Pregnant owing to an affair with a married professor, graduate student Jessica Speight gives birth to gol
show more

Rating details

1,208 ratings
3.09 out of 5 stars
5 10% (123)
4 26% (314)
3 36% (434)
2 19% (231)
1 9% (106)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X